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Night Lights Classic Jazz

Another Holiday

Music of baritone singer Johnny Holiday.

Baritone singer Johnny Holiday performed with some big bands in the 1940s (including a brief stint filling in for Johnny Desmond in the 1945 edition of the Glenn Miller Orchestra) and went on to release several albums in the 1950s, two of them made with West Coast jazz musicians, that received good notices but failed to sell well. Holiday spent the next few decades working various jobs, working as a hotel entertainment director, a film editor, a light and sound director (for Sergio Mendes), a door-to-door salesman, and also doing voices for Batman creator Bob Kane’s Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse. Although championed by the likes of TV host Steve Allen and songwriter Sammy Cahn, Holiday failed to land another recording date until 1998, when his friend vibraphonist Terry Gibbs landed him a session with Contemporary Records. 81 today, Holiday is again recording and performing. On this program we’ll hear selections from three of his 1950s albums: Johnny Holiday Sings, Presenting Johnny Holiday, and the newly-reissued Holiday for Lovers. Sidemen include Bud Shank, Jack Sheldon, Marty Paich, Herb Geller, and Barney Kessel. We’ll also hear two tracks from Holiday’s 1998 Contemporary session.

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